Nation is celebrating the 150th birth year and the death centenary of freedom fighter Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Gokhale (1866 1915) was one of social and political leaders who actively participated in freedom movement as a senior leader of the Indian National Congress.
Remembering Gopal Krishna Gokhale on his birth anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Gopal Krishna Gokhale was a great personality; a remarkable freedom fighter and social reformer. Tributes to him on his birth anniversary."
Gokhale subscribed for non-violence and social transformation. As an educator, I personally appreciate Gokhale's firm belief in the need for universal education which formed the basis for free and compulsory elementary education in our country.
The cause of education was very dear to him. So, when he was elected president of the Indian National Congress in 1905, he also founded the Servants of India Society to expand Indian education. He is regarded as first leader to demand universal and free primary public education in India.
Gokhale's life was short and Mahatma Gandhi shared a guru-shishya relationship with him and Gandhi often addressed Gokhale as "mahatma". He was a simple and moderate person who shunned personal attention.
He had advised the members of the Servants of India Society not to write a biography or setting up a statue after his death. He had also subscribed for free speech, positive criticism and a free press.